There’s a wide variety of vegan seafood substitutes that come pretty close to the real thing.
I’ve compiled a mixture of homemade recipes and store-bought substitutes that are easily found.
Table of Contents
Vegan Clam Substitutes
When it comes to clams and oysters, king oyster mushrooms are the best substitute (as the name implies).
You can’t really substitute anything for plain clams, but you can replicate the taste of clam chowder pretty well.
Here are 3 vegan clam chowder recipes that use different substitutes:
- Healthy “Clam” Chowder (vegan, gf) – Made with king oyster mushrooms
- New England Vegan Clam Chowder – Made with white button mushrooms and a cashew cream base
- Vegan “Clam” Chowder – Made using shiitake mushrooms and a cauliflower cream base
Vegan Crab Substitutes
You have a few different options for crab substitutes depending on the dish you’re making.
The easiest dish to veganize are crab cakes.
Here are 4 different crab cake substitutes:
- Gardein mini crabless cakes (store-bought) – The main ingredient is textured wheat protein
- Vegan crab cakes with sweet balsamic mayo – Based on chickpeas and gluten free crackers, with a dressing made with balsamic vinegar
- Tempeh crab cakes – Using tempeh as a crab substitute
- Jackfruit crab cakes – Made with jackfruit
If you’re trying to replicate crab in a different recipe, jackfruit seems to be the best alternative.
For example, here’s a jackfruit crab salad recipe.
Vegan Fish Substitutes
We’re still not all the way there when it comes to veganizing popular fish products, so we’ll stick to those for now.
The best vegan fish substitutes are for tuna and salmon in particular.
The three substitutes I’ve tried with pretty good success for tuna are jackfruit, chickpeas (only for tuna salads), and tofu.
Jackfruit is the most versatile of the three and can be used as a tuna substitute for sandwiches or sliders.
The optimal recipes to look for a tuna vegan substitute are tuna salad recipes. Here are 3 different ones:
As far as I know, there’s no good vegan fish substitute for a salmon fillet. Tofu or tempeh is the closest you’ll come to it, but it’s quite noticeably different.
However, you can use vegetables to make reasonably good substitutes for smoked salmon, and way cheaper too.
Here are 2 examples of how to do this:
- Vegan smoked salmon – Made from carrots
- Vegan smoked bell pepper salmon – Made with orange bell pepper
General fish product substitutes
Finally, we get to general fish recipes like fish sticks and sauces.
For a high quality vegan fish fillet substitute, I’d recommend the store-bought Gardein fishless filets.
If you want to make fish sticks, tofu is a great substitute:
It’s also relatively straightforward to make a vegan fish sauce without any special ingredients.
You can also make fish cake substitutes using potatoes and white beans.
Vegan Lobster Substitutes
There aren’t too many vegan lobster substitutes, but there are a few:
Hopefully more creative substitutes will come out over time. I’ll update this page if they do.
Vegan Octopus Substitutes
Finally, for the sake of completion I wanted to go over vegan octopus substitute options.
After a bunch of searching, I didn’t come up with much.
The best vegan octopus substitutes seem to be palm hearts of king oyster mushrooms, but they don’t really replicate the original too well.